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posted: 6/14/2012 6:02 PM

Algonquin, developer working out number of apartments

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The developer of Riverside Plaza in Algonquin has been having confidential discussions with village staff and is expected to present a change of plan to the village's planning and zoning commission at some point in the future, officials said.

John Breugelmans, principal of Riverside Plaza LCC of North Barrington, said at a committee of the whole meeting last month that he can't get the $8.5 million in financing he needs to finish the condo project at the northeast corner of Routes 31 and 62. He asked the village board for the green light to pursue a change of plan from condos to apartments, saying that he'd be able to get financing for that.

Five out of seven trustees said they would allow rental units, but four of them objected to Breugelmans's intention to change the layout from 54 condo units to 69 apartments, including 36 one-bedroom units. Trustees John Spella and Debby Sosine said they did not want apartments, period.

Any change of plan would first have to go through the planning and zoning commission, and then to the village board for formal approval.

Breugelmans bought the half-finished condo and retail building in March 2011 after it had been sitting empty since 2008, when the original developer defaulted on his loans. The exterior of the building is almost finished, Algonquin Community Development Director Russ Farnum said.

"He's gotten guidelines from the committee of the whole, so now he's got to take their input into account and narrow down his proposal," Farnum said. "I'm sure that he will bring something forward."

Breugelmans did not return two calls seeking comment.

Village President John Schmitt said that staff has been in contact with Breugelmans since the May 22 meeting. "The conversations that we are currently having with him are confidential. That's the nature of doing business. As far as I know, there is no desire on the part of the board to compromise beyond what we already did. We're pretty firm on what we want."

Meanwhile, the completion of the four sidewalks that flank the building in the heart of downtown at Routes 31 and 62 is proceeding ahead of schedule and should be completed in two to three weeks, Public Works Director Bob Mitchard said. The village budgeted $350,000 for the work.

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